Victory! The Anti-Supplement FTC Expansion Provision is Defeated—At Least for Now

June 29, 2010
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victoryLast Friday, your voice was heard in Congress. Thanks to your activism, the provision to expand the Federal Trade Commission’s powers—and with it, the likely restricted access to nutritional supplements—did not make it into the final Wall Street “Reform” bill.

Congressman Henry Waxman (D–CA), with the support of powerful Congressman Barney Frank (D–MA), made a strong last-ditch effort to save the provision we’ve fought so hard against. The conference committee deliberations went on until early Friday morning, but in the end, the provision was not accepted and will therefore not be in the reconciled bill that will be submitted for final House and Senate passage and presidential signature.

Rep. Waxman is well known as an opponent of the dietary supplement industry. ANH–USA has been on alert to see how Waxman would use his committee chairmanship to strike at the DSHEA. He is very clever, and we knew a covert attack was a possibility. Last April we learned that Rep. Waxman had indeed gone covert.

He wrote FTC expansion language that was virtually indecipherable to any but a trained legislative expert, and hid it in a bill that was added to the vast House financial “reform” bill. This was done so covertly that even some health freedom activists did not believe that Waxman was the author of the provision, even though his own staff admitted it to us on two different occasions.

As soon as we became aware of this, we immediately took action. We forcefully spoke out and lobbied. We joined with over fifty other organizations opposing the provision. You responded to our appeal and made your voice heard in Congress.

This was crucial. Many of the organizations opposing this provision did not represent consumers. You told Congress that consumers and voters cared. After the decision went to a joint House–Senate committee, we contacted those of you who were in the particular states and districts represented, so that your message was carefully targeted.

Last Tuesday, Rep. Spencer Bachus (R–AL), ranking member on the House Financial Services Committee, offered an amendment to the Conference Committee excluding the FTC expansion powers from the Wall Street Financial “Reform” final package. Rep. Waxman responded by strongly urging House conferees to leave the provision in, saying it did little more than put the FTC regulatory and enforcement authority on par with other oversight agencies included in the financial reform bill, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission or the proposed new Consumer Financial Protection Agency. Note that Waxman could have limited the expanded powers to finance, but he did not. As we have explained in earlier articles, there is every reason to think that he was really aiming at supplements.

Waxman also told the conferees, “This is not a radical [grant of] new authorities.” Note again that this is technically true. These powers are not new. The FTC had them in the past and lost them because of abuses. But Waxman’s statement was misleading and therefore false—this was a radical expansion of FTC power. The conferees then rejected Rep. Bachus’s amendment by voice vote, which implied that the Waxman provision might yet pass.

Last Thursday, knowing that the deliberations were coming to a close, we again asked ANH–USA members who had senators or representatives on the conference committee to contact them directly. And in the early morning hours of Friday, the provision was defeated—proof that you are the deciding factor in the battle for natural health and health freedom!

We need to stay vigilant, however. FTC expansion efforts by Waxman are not necessarily over. Our allies on Capitol Hill believe he may slip the language into a miscellaneous amendment on some other bill. We have to be especially concerned about the lame duck session that will follow the fall election when defeated representatives have one last chance to vote. But now we know Waxman’s game plan, who his allies are in the Senate, and we will update you on any new developments.

19 Responses to “Victory! The Anti-Supplement FTC Expansion Provision is Defeated—At Least for Now”

  1. Geminga says:

    The real problem is the ability of Congressmen to pull these shadowy moves on the people with the express intent to deceive by hiding and using the legi-speak no one understands including other congressmen. Sliding deceptive wording into an irrelivant bill should be prohibited if the intent of congress is to honestly and fairly represent the people. It is clear to me that this is not the intent. Congress as a matter of norm votes in favor of the elite interests over citizen interests as routein. Waxman is a One World Government guy and not the peoples friend. I wish there was a way to ” out” these guys so our government could become understandable , straight forward and greatly simplified. Complexity is the toy store of the mischeivous. The other important contingency is the active particitpation of the people!! Cudos to all who heeded the ANH call to action!!!

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  2. Barbara Van De Walker says:

    My question is how do we focus in on the citizens of the 30th district who continue to vote him back into power? Let’s attack the attacker; let’s reveal who Waxman really is to those who need to know…..the people of California’s 30th district. Would you also reveal all of the representatives who voted FOR Waxman’s package?!

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  3. SANDI says:

    I GOT MY PHONE AND FAX BILL, TODAY. WHAT I SPENT TO CALL WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSMEN AND WOMEN TO VOTE DOWN THE ANTI FOOD SUPPLEMENT BILL IS WORTH EVERY PENNY. IT WAS GOOD TO STAY UP TO THE WEE HOURS WATCHING CONGRESS OF TV, AT BEST THEY ARE GOOD COMEDY.
    I AM HOPING THAT SUZANNE SOMERS AND THE FARRAH FAWCETT FOUNDATION AND KEVEN COSTNER ALL UNITE TO REALLY STAND UP AND EXPOSE HENRY WAXMAN FOR HIS COVERT SNEAKY ACTIONS.

    THE CURE FOR CANCER HAS BEEN AROUND FOR YEARS AND BACKED BY THE NOBEL PRIZE WINNERS FOR BIOCHEMISTRY….IT IS BIG PHARMA AND THE ARROGANCE OF THE MEDICAL ASSOCIATIONS AND CONGRESS WHO DO NOT WANT THERE TO BE AN ANSWERS.
    SHAME ON THEM ALL!

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  4. R Prasad says:

    Who is Congressman Henry Waxman actually working for? For people of America? or Corporates and multi nationals? Shame.

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  5. SANDI says:

    HURRAY!
    SOME OF YOU MAY KNOW THAT THE FARRAH FAWCETT ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE FOUNDATION KICKED OFF ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF HER DEATH…..I ASKED THEM TO NOT LET HENRY WAXMAN FROM HOLLYWOOD GET AWAY WITH HIS COVERT SNEAKY ACTION FOR THE ANTI FOOD SUPPLEMENT BILL IN THE WALL STREET REFORM….I ASKED THEM UNIT AND NOT RE ELECT HIM TO OFFICE.
    THANKS EVERYONE FOR ALL THE HARD WORK…..I HATE TO SEE MY PHONE BILL. I CALLED EVERYONE ON THE COMMITTEE AND LED THE WAY WITH MY WEBSITE.
    WELLNESS ANSWERS.ORG (GOOGLE)
    TAKE CARE AND WE CAN ENJOY THE WEEK END.
    SANDI

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    • Thomas says:

      Sandi, kudos on your efforts! I hope Waxman is on the last leg of his political career; he’s a prime (& abhorrent) example of someone elected into public office, then makes covert attempts to pass legislation he KNOWS the public is against… We simply must vote him out, ending such a disgraceful abuse of his position. And no one need worry if this snake in the grass is out of a job — no doubt he’s received plenty of *incentive* to pull these stunts — my guess, from Big Pharma.

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  6. Timothy Humphrey says:

    Awesome! Great work guys! Congressional representatives need to be constantly reminded they’re in Washington to look out for the interests of their constituents, not corporations. Corporations have lobbyists, people have representatives.

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  7. Thomas says:

    I applaud ANH & it’s good works to protect consumers & their freedoms. Albeit mass citizen / voter emails, letters & phone calls are extremely influential — many of us are made aware of these supplement industry issues & how we can help, via your reports — compiled from extensive research, diligence, networking & hard work. You’ve then organized grass roots campaigns, & have stream-lined the process for us to take action; as well as keep us updated along the way. The lobbying you do is also duly noted, & further / greatly, advances this important cause.

    Our collective voice wouldn’t be nearly as strong or united without the valuable information, & efficient ways for us to be heard on it, ANH makes available. Uncovering sneaky attempts by Waxman & his ilk, we may never have known otherwise! So ANH, I just wanted to let you know your efforts are very much appreciated! A huge & heartfelt THANKS.

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  8. Thank you for this effort to defeat the Waxman amendment to the Wall Street Reform Bill. It means so much to so many people. It means the world to me.

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  9. Edo Lastiri says:

    When trying to post the Victory! article on Face Book the link changes to a generic Welcome to ANH.
    I don’t get it!

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    • freedomline says:

      I am happy that you were a big factor in the bill not passing. However, I am very concerned about your headline of this article, “for now.” If Americans have to keep this up year after year we will surely lose the battle. There are so many lobbyist directing congree to pass bills that we are constantly being distracted. And with the Democratic house and senate consisting of mostly lawyers, creating and passing bills is their life. As it currently stands, we are losing control.

      Americans have tolerated enough of this nonsense. Talk to your congreeman and tell him your concerns in this matter. Otherwise, they will continue to pass bill after bill at an amazing pace until we become captive to the ones that work for us.

      Remember Nancy Pelosi’s statement? “We have to pass this bill to know whats in it”

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  10. MARVIN BAKER says:

    THANK VOU ALL FOR FIGHTING FOR OUR HEALTH FREEDOMS KEEP A CLOSE EYE ON HENRY WAXMAN HE IS VERY VERY SLICK HE WILL TRY AGAIN AND AGIAN TO GET THAT SAME PROVISION PASSED LOOK FOR ANOTHER COVERT SCHEME BUT THIS TIME HE WIILL PUT IT INTO SOMETHING THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HEALTH SOMETHING YOU WOULD NOT BE LOOKING FOR SO YOU ALL HAVE TO BE COVERT TO,SO YOU CAN STAY AHEAD OF HIS GAME ALWAYS KNOW WHAT HE UP TO AN WATCH OUT FOR PEOPLE HE WORK WITH CAUSE WHILE YOU ARE LOOKING AT WAXMAN HIS PEOPLE COULD SLIPPIN IN THE BACK DOOR

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  11. David S. Clark says:

    I’ve been around for awhile and it is no news to me that Waxman is anti-supplement. In the fight to get the Dietary Supplement Act back in the ’90s Waxman was to my recollection one of the lead dogs in the effort to get governmental control of supplements. Please let our people know what type of guy he is with whatever you can did up, he is not to be trusted, if for nothing else, his record of being anti-supplement. This dude will not give up, here we are 20 years later and he is still at it, we need to squash him with some bad press. Put the word out!

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  12. Gail Kinney says:

    Thank You for the information on this attack on our rights for good health, and for fighting for
    those rights. We do appreciate your efforts! Please keep me informed! We sell natural
    supplements, so I know first hand, what the FDA and FTC are capable of. They will
    literally stop at nothing, to protect the pharmaceutical companies. In the last 3 years,
    between the FTC, and the recession, we’ve lost more than half of our business. We are
    hanging by our fingernails, but we are still hangin’ in there. Thanks again !l

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  13. J.L. Torralva Pharm D says:

    My only question is who supported Waxman financially in persuing the stand against the dietary supplement industry? I would not be at all surprise if Waxman and Frank were backed by the Big Pharma Industry! Big Pharma Industry would love to have the same control over the diestary supplement industry as exist in Europe. I hope to never see the possibilty of a similar legislation give the FTC’s expansion of their powers. It would be a sad day indeed if that should ever happen!!!

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  14. Dr. Pamella Corvelli says:

    WONDERFUL-WONDERFUL! In 1992, I was the CO State Chair for Citizens for Health! The key is the knowledge of what these people are up to, and grass root support as you are doing. Keep up the GOOD work. Like cockroaches these people, funded probably by pharmaceuticals, will be back!

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    • I am in CO and would love to become more active in this area. Please contact me either through this or my email directly. At 21 years old, I suddenly had panic attacks. The cure was not the Valium prescribed by my well meaning MD. Although I would not take the valium, being quite keenly aware of their addictive nature, I kept them in my purse as an insurance policy based on fear. I began taking supplements, and went back for a check up a few months later…symptom free. Hurray for supplements. I have many true stories.on amazing positive changes physically through the healthy addition of natural substances found in food (AKA supplements)…but most importantly, thank you for your work, and thanks to all who care about their freedom to choose healthy alternatives, as well as the freedom for others to do the same.

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  15. Ron Matthews says:

    Is there any way that we could take up a collection and get Waxman sent to Cuba or North Korea where his political ideologies would be more in keeping with the despotic nature of those governments?

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  16. Debbie says:

    Yipee! Thank you so much for all that you do! As a brain injury survvivor, supplements are very important to me and will be for the rest of my life. They HAVE to continue to be unregulated! Much gratitude for your efforts!

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